Signing of the Covid-19 Rapid PCR Test Site at Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, December 3, 2021.
Dwayne Senior | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The World Health Organization on Wednesday said it would be difficult to determine if the Covid mutant was inherently less severe than the previous strain because Omicron was not widespread in the most endangered population. I warned you.
Dr. Abdi Mahamud, WHO’s Incident Manager for Covid, said South African data suggesting that Omicron causes mild illness is promising, but the variant has so far been less severe than Covid. Most of the young people who develop the disease are infected.
“We all want to make the disease more mild, but the population affected so far is young. How we behave in a vulnerable elderly population-we still don’t know. “Hmm,” Mahamd said at a press conference in Geneva.
“It’s too early to decide,” Mahamd said, adding that there isn’t enough data on how Omicron affects people over the age of 60, people with underlying illness, and people who haven’t been vaccinated. rice field. “We are optimistic, but I don’t think we should over-interpret the data from South Africa.”
Dr. Mike Ryan, Managing Director of the WHO Health Emergency Program, said many people in South Africa have antibodies from previous infections. These antibodies provide some degree of immune protection, allowing many to make Omicron look milder than in populations that do not have antibodies from previous infections.
Ryan warned that hospitalizations are increasing in some European countries, but it is unclear whether the increase is due to Omicron or Delta. He said Omicron is slowly migrating to the elderly and more data will soon be revealed about how it affects those people.
“What we haven’t seen is a fully established Omicron wave with a larger population,” Ryan said. “I’m a little nervous about making positive predictions until I see how well vaccine protection works in these older and more vulnerable populations.”
Ryan reiterated the warnings of many public health authorities, saying that Omicron could still cause high levels of hospitalization just because it spreads very rapidly. WHO previously said that Omicron spreads faster than any past variant of Covid.
“I don’t think anyone is yet sure how this works,” Ryan said. “It is very important to minimize infections of both variants over the next few weeks until we know how the virus will affect older and more vulnerable populations.”
South African scientists who studied hospitalization in a large hospital in the city of Tshwane discovered that Omicron caused a less severe illness than the wave of past infections.
Covid deaths in the hospital were 4.5% during Omicron compared to 21.3% in the past wave, while admission to the intensive care unit was 1% during Omicron compared to 4.3% in the past wave. was. Approximately 45% of patients in the Covid Ward required oxygen supplementation during Omicron, compared to 99.5% during the first wave of virus in South Africa.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said on Wednesday that all previous indications suggest that Omicron causes less severe illness than the delta variant. However, Fauci warned of complacency, noting that it is unclear how Omicron will affect countries with different demographics, such as the United States.
According to WHO, Omicron is not widespread among vulnerable people and its severity is unknown.
Source link According to WHO, Omicron is not widespread among vulnerable people and its severity is unknown.
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